An interview with Jamie Costello of Boogaloo Weekender

The Boogaloo Weekender is bringing you some of the most prestigious names from house and jazz this year. We spoke to festival director Jamie Costello all about it.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 10th Sep 2021

The Boogaloo Weekender is an all-out celebration of dance music, honouring the artists who've had a significant hand in creating movements still popular today. From the forbearers of jazz-funk to the early pioneers of the still flourishing UK house music scene - At Pontings Camber Sands in Rye, you'll find iconic, trendsetting names the likes of Graeme Park, David Morales and Krafty Kuts all laying it down, doing what they do best. 

In the lead up to this year's anticipated event - running from Friday 15th to Monday 18th October 2021 - we caught up with festival director Jamie Costello for a chat about the festival, set to bring a killer party to the East Sussex coast. Continue reading below to hear what he had to say...


(Click or tap on artist, event or venue names below for tickets and more) 


Please introduce yourself and give us some background on how you got to where you are? 

"My name is Jamie and I have been running events for the last 18 years. The majority of my events are based overseas in destinations such as San Francisco, Ibiza, Amsterdam and Kavos, Greece."



When did you first start going out and what inspired you to become a promoter? 

"I used to work in Ibiza. I use the word 'work' very loosely but the experience taught me you could actually make money from doing something you love. At first, it started off as booking my favourite DJ's and inviting my mates to an event, then heading to some cool UK towns to party for a weekend and now I get to travel the world and visit some of the most amazing places in the world."





What are the key skills you need in that role? 

"Patience, planning and not being afraid to make risky decisions, and a sense of business acumen will help you. Oh, and be prepared to take the odd financial hit or two..."



What has it been like being a promoter during the pandemic - Did the government offer any help? Did you feel they had your back? 

"We kind of fell through the cracks and received very little support. We also had to take into contention the local laws that were in place for our overseas events. Nearly all venues, artists, airlines (and everyone else along the supply chain) refused or couldn't give any money back yet we had thousands of people asking for refunds. It's fair to say the last 18 months have been tough..."



What are the things you pride yourself on most with your events? 

"'Our vibe attracts our tribe’ as the saying goes. We have an amazing bunch of people who attend who are well educated when it comes to music. Our lineup for Boogaloo speaks for itself."






What are the hardest parts of an event to get right? 

"The higher up the event chain you go, the more attendees you'll get, which means you learn it is impossible to keep everyone happy. With the majority of my events overseas, we have to act as travel agents, reps, promoters and everything else in between. But I'm glad to say every year we learn and every year we improve."



What are you most proud of with regards to this year's event? 

"Getting so many trailblazers on one line-up. These are people who I grew up admiring, respecting, dancing too and following around the world. All have played a big part in shaping dance culture in their own dynamic way. Mike and Claire Manumission, Rusty Eagen, Gordon Mac, Trevor Fung and Nicky Holloway are just some of our guest speakers. It hopefully gives you an idea of the direction we are heading."



In addition to the music, what else is there for revellers to explore at Boogaloo 2021? 

"We're basically connecting the dots from when Jazz Funk was the underground music scene, to the birth of the Blitz Kid era, right through to the explosion of Acid house and the roots of house music. I could be here all day but a few stand out features include a speaking panel with guests who were influential in shaping dance culture, an art gallery, a rave flyer gallery, Boogaloo Bingo, traditional campsite entertainment, Graffiti lessons, trade stalls, yoga, fitness and loads more!"



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As you mentioned, there are a few panels at this year's event - How do you go about choosing the topics and the speakers? 

"We had about 40 names written down. We soon learnt that we couldn't fit them all in, so most will be approached for 2022 and 2023. We had done a blueprint of the journey from jazz-funk, to Blitz kids, to Acid house and Ibiza. We then approached some of the most influential people associated with that journey, and they all thankfully agreed to join us.

"I can't wait to hear what they have to say. With the event being spread over three days and three nights, the speaking panel and art gallery acts as the perfect opportunity to take a step back from the music and understand how important these people were in shaping the scene."



Limited tickets remain for this year's Boogaloo Weekender - Get yours now below...



Looking to find yourself a festival before the year is out? Take a look at our Festival Finder. Our Thing's To Do page is perfect for filling up your calendar for the next few months.


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